SCAR Delegates and Invited Observers are welcomed to the XXX meeting of the SCAR Delegates, which takes place at the headquarters of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow from 14-16 July, 2008. This is an important occasion for SCAR - its 50th Anniversary. It was in 1957 that SCAR's parent body, ICSU, first discussed the notion of creating a body to continue after the International Geophysical Year of 1957-58 the work of coordinating scientific research across Antarctica.
A committee was formed to look into the matter and recommended the formation of what was then to be called the Special Committee on Antarctic Research. The new body duly held its first meeting, in The Hague, on February 1-3, 1958. At the time there were just 12 members; now there are 34. We started with 3 Union Members; now there are 8 and another has applied to join. The XXX SCAR meeting is also important because it will review SCAR's current role in the International Polar Year of 2007-2009, and consider what contribution SCAR might make to managing the IPY legacy. There would seem to be as much demand for a SCAR after the IPY as there was after the IGY, if not more.
The question of how to manage the IPY legacy involves not just SCAR but also others like the International Arctic Science Committee, our partner in the north, since many facets of polar research are clearly bipolar, and we may all benefit from taking a more bipolar approach to issues of common interest - like the behaviour of sea ice and ice sheets in a warming world.